People’s ability to excuse and romanticize villains’ actions, especially those with tragic backstories, is both baffling and terrifying.
Creating complex characters, even antagonists, and finding real human motivations for their actions and decisions is vital to good storytelling. But there is a distinct difference between appreciating a well crafted villain or antagonist, and completely forgiving their actions because they’re tragic or charming.
Time Magazine, instead of highlighting Kerry Washington and Laverne Cox, chose to highlight Jenji Kohan, a white woman, as responsible for the diversity in Scandal and Orange is the New Black.
“Just as important and in a way that is shamefully rare today, Jenji’s characters are a breathtaking riot of color and sexual orientation onscreen.”
You’re right, Time Magazine, it is shameful. Shame on you.